Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Feminist Reads

Today's Top Ten Tuesday is a selection of books brought to you by the F-word that still gets a bad rap, particularly on the internet. Here are ten Feminist reads that every human should take a look at:

How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran :: This book is hilarious and is part-biography part-feminist manifesto based around stories from Caitlin's life. She covers everything from wedding culture to beauty and babies and just generally has a wicked outlook on life.

Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close :: Speaking of wedding culture I haven't actually read this book but it's been on my radar for a while. It tells the story of three woman navigating their own lives while dealing with a never ending round of weddings and bridal showers. I'm at that age where every month seems to bring a new wedding invite and endless questions into my own (happily and actually not that into the whole idea of marriage thanks) unmarried status so I'm sure to get a kick out of reading this.

#Girlboss by Sophia Amoruso :: Not strictly a feminist book but I read this business book about Nasty Gal CEO Sophia Amoruso's rise to success and it really resonated with me as someone who is both young and female. The majority of business books seem to be about older white men so to be given advice from someone in my own generation was invigorating. Prepare yourself for sassy feelings of world domination after reading!

The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf :: Written in 1988 the year of my birth, I read this when I was 25 and was shocked to discover that we've really made zero progress when it comes to the pressure that women face on their bodies. If anything the rise of social media not to mention both obesity and anorexia are also a concern for womens' health today mean we've probably sliding backwards more than ever. A grim read yes, but many of Wolf's ideas resonated loudly with me.

A Room of One's Own by Virginia Woolf :: I've never read anything by Virginia Woolf (runs away and hides in shame) but after my own outburst at my significant other about not having a 'me' space own I think this book is actually quite fitting.

Have you read any of these books?

Sunday, 3 April 2016

March Life and Style Favourites

Boho Glam Decor :: Last month I was obsessed with reading styling magazines and this month I've found a particular style that's really appealing to all of my senses. It's a little bit boho without being too hippy and satisfies my inner magpie. The bonus to this decor style is that it's a beautiful blend of the old and new, earthy and luxe.

Palm Beach Candle :: You know me, I love a good candle to burn and the weather is finally showing signs of turning cooler and we even had a full day of rain over the Easter weekend. The scent this one kicks off is hard to describe but is a very refreshing and invigorating one, perfect for this time of year!

Tarte Amazonian Clay Mineral Foundation :: Along with my new skincare regime I was recommended to ditch and type of liquid/powder foundations in favour of mineral makeup. After much analysis of what my skincolour actually is I picked up the Tarte Amazonian Clay full coverage airbrush foundation and have been impressed with how good this stuff is for oily/combination skin types. I still need to find a concealer that has mineral properties as this doesn't do much for my blemishes but it feels so lightweight on the skin and looks very natural.

Tarte Amazonian Clay Blush in Exposed :: Being a reader of beauty blogs for a few years now I already knew that this blush was lauded as a universally flattering shade. It's the perfect shade to give your skin a flushed glow and filled the gap in my stash for when I wanted something more neutral - not straight up pink or coral toned. The pigmentation is good but due to the subtle shade colour it's pretty much impossible to over-use.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray :: While I haven't quite finished reading this I spent a good portion of the long weekend tucked up on the couch absolutely engrossed in book 2 of The Diviners series. It's so good! And, I love that focus of the book is on two characters who played side roles in the first story. It almost feels like a standalone novel which in my eyes keeps the reader fresh with excitement for what's going to happen.

The Financial Diet :: You know that feeling when you discover a new blog or website and spend hours and hours devouring their entire back catalogue? Yup, that's exactly what's happened here. Money talk doesn't sound like the most interesting topic but The Financial Diet have found a way to make it not only appealing but aspirational. In the blogging world sometimes I feel like buying things or spending money is constantly on our radar and this website is a nice anti-dote to that without being preaching or judgemental in tone. If you're planning a big career change or looking at how you can make more money on the side there's a tonne of inspirational articles that will inspire you to follow your dreams while making sure you've got money in the bank to do so.

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Top Ten Tuesday :: Most Recent 5 Star Reads

There's something very satisfying about this week's Top Ten Tuesday post in rounding up the cream of the crop of books I've read most recently. While I'm not 100% sure I gave these books 5 stars each, they certainly all tick the boxes for some of the best books I've read recently!

Emma by Jane Austen :: Witty, charming and hilarious, matchmaker Emma causes more trouble than she bargains for when it comes to meddling in her friends' relationships. Jane Austen's classic was hard to put down and I think I found some new favourite characters in Emma and Mr Knightley.

After You by Jojo Moyes :: The follow-up novel to Me Before You, I really enjoyed picking up again with Louisa who was struggling to move on from her relationship with Will. Sad, funny and hopeful, I thought this book dealt realistically with the struggles of moving on from grief and Lousia's struggle to discover what she really wants out of life.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor :: I wasn't expecting to enjoy this fantasy novel but something about the setting of Prague combined with the mystery of Karou's origins (blue hair, tattoos) and what all those teeth are for really struck a chord in my imagination. I can't wait to read the second installment.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins :: While I can't say this book lived up to the hype of Gone Girl as so many people were tauting it to, The Girl on the Train was a very solid thriller, mysery which had me addicted to finishing it as fast as possibly.

What book have you read recently that you would highly recommend?


Thursday, 17 March 2016

Things I've Learnt About My Writing Process

I've been a little bit absent on the blog this month due to the fact that I've been focusing on my work in progress! Last year I had a goal of getting a first draft of a novel off the ground but it never really took off due to procrastination. This year I've taken a slightly different approach to writing and I've found some tips and tricks that have really worked for me!

Planning, Planning, Planning!
Planning is an interesting one as I think how much you plan your novel varies from person to person. In general most writers are either planners or pantsers (where you make it up as you go along), but I've found a combination of the two works best for me. I need to know my characters goals and key events in the timeline but I don't like to restrict what happens too much as I find as I write, things can change and new ideas develop along the way.

Mini-word Goals
I decided to make life easier for myself by giving myself 2000 words per week goals. It's so much more manageable and takes the pressure off the 80,000 word finale that I'm aiming for by the end of the year. Writing a whole book seems like such a daunting task, but cutting it down into a few chapters a week suddenly becomes not only manageable but aspirational too.

Just Get Started
Oh lordy, how many times I have started and rewritten and jumped between my book ideas, deleting entire pages and giving up before I've even started. Just starting writing is all you have to do. You don't have to start with the first scene of the book, just write something down. I've also fallen into the trap of struggling to work out ever single finer details of the plot in the first draft but have since decided that's exactly what second drafts are for!

Act on Positivity
Writing is an incredibly emotionally draining hobby, in the best way possible. But, that also means that as writers we can be ecstatic with our work one minute and beat ourselves up the next. I think I actually understand the plight of the tormented writer since I've begun consistently writing this year. Acting on positivity means I like to start writing when I'm in a good mood so that the confident vibes are flowing. It also means I finish writing when I'm still feeling inspired and happy rather than completely at my wits end.

Take On All Of The Advice
I'll be the first to admit I am an amateur when it comes to creative and fiction writing but soaking up as much advice, finding what works for you as a writer and chucking out the rest is a great place to start. I've read lots of advice on planning and developing your book, some of it which works for me and some of which doesn't. One thing I've found really helpful is to have a really good idea of who your characters are. Answering simple questions about what they like, how they react to certain situations and what their goals are, are great ways of clarifying their personalities in your mind.

Are there any things you have learnt from starting a work in progress?

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Autumn TBR

While the rest of the world welcomes the first petals of Spring, us Southern Hemisphere lot are looking forward to the colder weather if only because it removes any sort of guilt associated with not being outside and instead we can reserve every right to get snuggly with a good book. This Autumn I'm hoping to tick off the following books:

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell :: My current read, (is that cheating? nope, okay then) which started off fantastically but halfway through I'm feeling a little bit defeated by the length. I'm going to carry on and hope that future chapters pick up the pace that this novel started off so strongly with.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray :: I feel bad even talking about this book because I bang on about this series so much (The Diviners, it's ammmmaaazing!) and yet I've been slacking on reading the second one. Maybe I have THE FEAR? either way it needs to happen.

Under the Spanish Stars by Alli Sincair :: I was very kindly gifted this book from Harlequin Aus a while back and have been meaning to pick it up. All I know is that it looks exactly like the kind of wunder-lust inducing read that I love so much.

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby :: One of my favourite funny authors, I have had this book reserved at the library to read and then promptly forgot to pick it up for weeks.

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness :: I've really enjoyed getting into more YA last year and this book about finding the extraordinary in ordinary lives sounds like a something I would very much enjoy.

The Drop by Dennis Lehane :: I feel like it's been too long since I've picked up a crime read and indeed the last book I read from this genre was The Girl on the Train last year. Dennis Lehane is one of my favourite authors for crime fiction so any of his books will do but in particular I really want to read this one that tells the story of a 'drop bar' in Boston.
I'd love to know what books you are itching to read this season?!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Reading Classics Shouldn't Be A Chore, Right?

Twitter is a great tool for many reasons, I often find myself caught in the act of never ending scrolling until my thumb hurts just looking for interesting links and blog posts to catch up on. Well recently a great piece in the Guardian caught my eye about how reading Classical books is so often treated like it's a daunting and difficult chore. Classical fiction has become this BIG DIFFICULT THING that's scary and hard for lots of readers and then every time we hear someone talking about how they trudged through Dickens or Hardy all the rest of us shudder and decide to just steer clear.

The whole time I was reading the article I was like 'aha' 'yeah', when did reading Classics become somthing we were supposed to do because we felt guilty or like 'I'm a smart sophisticated person so I should probably give Pride and Prejudice' rather than 'ooh how about that Mr Darcy?'

I'm totally guilty of doing this too. I put off reading Pride and Prejudice for years because I thought I wouldn't get the language and it would be more of a trudge through wordy literature than an enjoyable read. But you know what? It's turned out to be one of my favourite reads and I can't wait to read more from Jane Austen. That's not to say all Classics are going to be enjoyable, I've tried three times to read Great Expectations and it just isn't working for me, but I do agree that sometime the fear of these books is offputting rather than giving them a go.

I think if there is one thing I took away from the article and from my own Classical reading experiences it's that not all Classics are created equal. You might fancy your Bronte sisters but loathe picking up anything by James Joyce (I don't know why but I've never wanted to read Ulysses for this very reason, maybe I should give it a go?) but if you've never actually picked up a copy then how will you know?

I'd love to know what your thoughts are on this article? Have you put off reading any Classic books because they seem too daunting?

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Ten Books To Read If You're In The Mood For...Wanderlust

For today's Top Ten Tuesday post I thought I would put together a collection of books that have really given me a bad case of wanderlust. Some of these books have inspired me to go to specific countries while others just invoke a sense of adventure through their writing. Either way you're sure to get a feeling of itchy feet after reading them!

African Dawn by Tony Parks :: South Africa. I loved reading this book after my trip to Botswana and the imagery it evoked of everything from the animals to the dusty sunsets made for a truly immersive experience.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts :: India. This is an epic book (it's huge) but so worth it for all the colourful, vibrant and noisy descriptions of India.

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver :: Mexico. I absolutely adored this book especially the beachside setting of Mexico to begin with.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon :: Spain. I love the descriptions of the Spanish architecture and winding cobbled streets, not to mention that amazing secret library!

Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier :: United States of America. The descriptions of travelling through Virginia in this book are so beautiful it really appealled to me.

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy:: Mexico. One of my favourite books ever Cormac McCarthy is a master of creating evocative landscapes and this book about two brothers who travel from Texas across the Mexican boarder is beautiful.

The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C Morais :: India/France. Not only did this book conjure up beautiful images of India but the food, ohhhh the food!

Chocolat by Joanne Harris :: France. Cobbled streets, a quaint French village and sumptuous food make this book one for all of the senses.

Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis de Bernieres:: Greece. I loved how descriptive the island setting of this book is!

Let me know which books you love to read to give you a feeling of wanderlust?!

Monday, 29 February 2016

February Life and Style Favourites

Even though the weeks are flying by it feels like an age since I wrote my January Life and Style post which I suppose is a good sign. February has been a funny month as in some areas I feel like I've been making a lot of progress while other things I have completely slacked off on (here's looking at you exercise plan). Here are some of the things I've been loving for the month of February:

Setting mini writing goals :: This year was going to be the year that I worked on my first draft of a manuscript I've been thinking about writing for at least a year now. But when I thought about how many hours and thousands of words I needed to write this year it was kind of a daunting prospect. Instead I've set myself monthly word goals of 10,000 words and weekly goals of 2,500 which actually seem very manageable and I've even be exceeding them.

Interior Magazines :: I've always been more of a Pinterest/general website dweller when it comes to looking for interior inspiration but when a workmate gave me a stack of her Home Beautiful (doesn't that title just sound the wrong way around?!) magazines they have provided me with so much inspiration as well as local places to actually source stuff from. The internet is great but if you live outside the US/UK local magaizines are a great alternative.

My Skincare Regime :: It's been five weeks since I first saw a dermatologist about my skin and although my congestion issues are still being delt with it feels so much better. Yes my wallet has definitely taken a battering but it's nice to see results when it comes to how my skin feels under the surface and dehydration was really making me feel tight and uncomfortable.

Autumnal Fashion :: Although February is the last month of summer it's been damn hot the majority of the time but I'm so ready for cosy knitware and all of the layers. I picked up a really cute rust orange mock-turtleneck knit from Target (they are killing it at the moment with their fashions) and it's a nice nod to the 70s trend as well which is something I haven't really bought into.

Matte Eyeshadow :: Since I'm a bit of a magpie when it comes to eyeshadow I usually prefer some type of shimmer on my lids but lately matte has been all that I've been reaching for. There are two neutral shades from my Naked Original Palette that I reach for on rotation and I have a couple of completely matte palletes on my radar.

How To Be Single :: I scored some free double passes to the movies a few weeks ago and had to give a shoutout to this film for actually following through on its progressive attitude. Rebel Wilson and Dakota Johnson are hilarious and I loved how its stance towards singledom was one of empowerment and not something we should fix. My boyfriend thought it was hilarious too so even if you're not single I highly recommend it for a date night!

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Recent Reads: Emma by Jane Austen & Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

Rather than do a traditional review for the most recent books I've read I thought I'd lump them together into one semi-ramble of a post as I feel like they're both pretty popular and you probably know a lot about both of them.

First up was Emma by Jane Austen and I have to say I loved this book, like loved even more than Pride and Prejudice. It was overall more of a fun read and Emma is exactly the type of humorous main character whom I adored reading about. One of the things I love about Jane Austen is the time she invests in her characters. Emma's character development is subtle as is the growing romance between Emma and Mr Knightley and it made me realise that a lot of modern day books can learn a thing or two from how she crafts a story. Also I have to take a moment to say that I am now a Mr Knightley fan girl and that Emma reinforces my belief that nice guys do finish first.

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell is another book I had been wanting to pick up for ages having loved Landline by the same author. Set in 1999 the nostalgic elements of this book really appealed to me and the subtle character progression is another reason why I love Rainbow Rowell's writing. If you don't know much about Attachments it's about Lincoln - an IT graduate who is employed to monitor the use of internal emails at a newspaper - who then falls for a journalist through reading her hilarious email conversations.

This story is funny and cute and I really enjoyed all the little details that Rainbow Rowell crafts into her stories to bring her characters into vivid life. The only thing that threw me with this book was that Lincoln's character had his heart broken as a teenager by his first love and was still getting over it ten years later which is a looong time considering how many girls were flirting with him at his IT job. I don't know why but coupled with the fact that we only get a proper description of Lincoln halfway through the book (and it's good he's tall and cute) just made me think there's no way a guy like that would get through almost ten years of being at University and not date any other girls. Minor niggling details aside I loved the main characters in Attachments as well as the side characters who all had very strongly crafted personalities and storylines.

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Unexpectedly Enjoyed in 2015

Today's Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and The Bookish is all about books that took me by surprise in 2015. Last year I really tried to read outside of my comfort zone more and there were a few titles which I didn't expect to like but really did.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor :: A blue haired girl, covered in tattoos who travels the world collecting teeth (when she's not an art student) was not a story I thought I'd be into. Well, I was definitely wrong.

Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinseller :: I've never read Sophie Kinseller and I don't read a lot of YA but I really really enjoyed this book and everything about it.

The Diviners by Libba Bray :: Anytime I can bring up this book in conversation you know I'm going to. Reading paranormal Young Adult fiction was not something that I thought I would ever enjoy but this book is amazing and I'm so glad I picked it up.

Jonathan Strange and Mr Norell by Susanna Clarke :: The main reason I didn't think I would enjoy this book is that it is epically long and I didn't think I actually had the dedication to read a 1000 page book. I was pleasantly surprised and although it did take some commitment to pick it up every night am quite glad I finished reading.

You by Caroline Kepnes :: The fact that I enjoyed this book so much is the unexpected part. It's creepy, like really creepy which kind of worries me that I was so enjoying reading it.

What books did you unexpectedly enjoy reading last year?

Thursday, 18 February 2016

January and February Book Haul

I have been spoiled these last two months with my birthday and Valentine's Day bringing me some lovely books! There's a mish mash of genres from contemporary to classics and paranormal and sci-fi plus some quick reviews of a few I've already managed to read!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Songs I Wish Were Books

Todays Top Ten Tuesday is something a little bit different and is all about music! Often when I'm
listening to music I'm daydreaming about a scene in my head related to that song so I thought it would be fun to pick songs that would make a great book scene or spark an idea in my head for a book. Here goes:

I'm on Fire :: Bruce Springstein. Possibly my favourite Springstein song ever (it's a tough call) this song brings up images of unrequited love and two people who long to be together but can't.

Pieces by Chase and Status :: Im kind of a big fan of 90s club movies (think Human Traffic, 24 Hour Party People) so wouldn't it be epic to have a book that hails the club culture I was actually old enough to enjoy. Drum and bass was pretty much my jam about 2010 and I still love this song for bringing back memories of going out and listening to great music.

Santeria by Sublime :: I actually really enjoy sports related movies if they have good female characters in them and anything by Sublime makes me think of roadtrips and surfing and any book that wants to conjure up those images together is fine by me.

Punching in a Dream by Naked and Famous :: I love this song because it always makes me think of being young and doing stupid shit and I think more books should kind of celebrate being at a stage in your life when this is possible.

Burn by Ellie Goulding :: This song always makes me think of someone overcoming an epic battle, more in the emotional sense than anything else. It's uplifing and empowering and some type of badass chick should probably be involved in it coming to life.

Hold me Down by Halsey :: Any Halsey song would be a fantastic book idea I feel but something about this song reminds me of a character like Lisbeth Salander from Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.


Saturday, 13 February 2016

Reasons To Read: Outside of Your Comfort Zone

Comfort zones are nice aren't they? They're all cosy and relateable and most of the time we know exactly what to expect from them. But you know what? They can also make things a little bit boring and predicatable which was exactly how I felt about my reading preferences nestled safely between historical and contemporary fiction.

But, when I stepped a toe outside do you know what I found? There's some really exciting things going on. Things that I'd always convinced myself I wouldn't like, maybe because at one time or another I'd passed up a book or stumbled my way through a novel that just didn't work for me. Time and again I'd pick up a book from a genre I'd convinced myself that I wouldn't like and would put it back on the shelf again. I'd screw my face up at things like Sci-fi and roll my eyes at anything classified for teenagers because at one point I didn't like those things so I thought I never would.

And then something happen. Lets call it a little bit of FOMO. Or a realisation that there's legit like a million books I've mentally crossed off my nope-not-going-to-read list for what are really quite stupid reasons. As it turns out I've found exciting things outside my comfort zone. Angels and demons and monsters that don't actually exist and that you wouldn't find walking the halls of a Downton Abbey-like manor (although I would totally read that book!)

There's girls with blue hair whose parents aren't human, teenagers grappling with things that if you remember totally sucked when you were a teenager - crazy family dynamics, awkward romances and School demands, that are totally hilarious and awesome and wicked and funny and entertaining. And it's kinda like, farrrk, all this time I've not been reading any of these great things?

The thing about going outside of your comfort zone is it kind of makes you want more. I want different types of demons, I want worlds where payment in teeth is totally normal and there is more than one concept of time. I want to read things classed as Science fiction which has totally never been on my radar before. I want historical fiction to meld with zombies and references to David Bowie, because why the hell not?

When was the last time you stepped outside your reading comfort zone?

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Why I've Quit Using Over The Counter Skincare (Almost)

Somewhat unconsciously 2016 has become the year of 'getting shit done' for me and it's only January, oh yeah! This is the year that I've decided to stop complaining about things that I'm not happy with or aren't working for me and actually action some changes. Top of my list along with finally creating my own writing space - more on that in another post - was tackling my skin issues.

I've mentioned the frustrations I've felt with my skin before with constant congestion causing breakouts and this summer I noticed an increased area of pigmentation on my forehead. Although I've discovered some nice skincare that has helped - and it has helped - nothing has actually permanently helped to change my skin. Taking matters into my own hands I decided to seek help in the form of a professional dermatologist to see what actually was going on with skin at a cellular level (fancy huh). So I googled, read some reviews and booked in a free appointment to get a skin consultation and guys, it was an eye-opener.

After sitting down for an hour with a very lovely professional (sidenote her skin is amazing) I found for the first time I was getting advice on what the hell my cells under the surface are actually up to and as it turns out it's not much. My cells are lazy guys, they are pretty crap at completing their supposed 30ish day life cycle of forming, rising to the skins surface and sloughing off naturally. All that laziness is causing a lack of water getting to my skins surface which is why I've always confused about how my face feels tight and dry but appears oily. It's dehydrated and all those lazy-ass cells are getting congested and causing pimples to form.

I can't tell you how good it was to sit down with someone who has science on their side and tell me exactly what I mentioned above without me actually saying it to them. And all for free! At the start of my consultation I wasn't entirely sure about what I wanted to come away with. Mainly I wanted to know which products to buy and what would cure my skin woes.

Unfortunately (or fortunately) my dermatologist only prescribes products which have been tested and scientifically proved to show a different to skin cells. Which means no over the counter skin products. Now I should point out that this doesn't mean nothing from a beauty shop or supermarket can cure my pigmentation/dehydration woes but often the research done by pharmaceutical companies has a conflict of interest (ie. Their own brand scientists doing the research so it's not really peer reviewed or independent) meaning it's hard for dermatologists to recommend them.

At the end of my session I came away with a new understanding of what my skin is actually up to (being lazy apparently), what products will actually make a difference (hyraluronic acid, Vitamin C and Vitamin A) and the offer of skincare products which have been proven scientifically to make a difference. I decided after the hour was up that since I've been spending my hard earned cash on products that were only cleaning the surface of my skin it was time to delve a little deeper. The price of the skincare I came away with - a cleanser, serum and moisturiser to start - isn't that different to high end skincare. Ranging from $60 for the cleanser to $90 for the serum requires a bit more budgeting for me but is overly not too bad considering I only get one skin to care for.

While it's early days yet to see what is going to work for me, I've also got a milk peel booked next month for the pigmentation (also caused by my lazy-ass skin cells) so I'll keep this blog posted on what changes are happening.

The main point of todays ramble, and it has been a ramble, was to say this. If you have skin concerns that you feel haven't been overly helped by over the counter skincare then why not book in with a dermatologist. Most of them give free consultations so you are under no obligation to spend any money and it's an amazing feeling to get some advice from a medical professional concerning your skin.

Have you ever thought about consulting a dermatologist before for your skin?

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Top Ten Tuesday :: Favourite Book Couples

In honour of Valentines Day this weekend, Top Ten Tuesday has gone all mushy on you and this week I've decided to pick my favourite couples!

The Bronze Horseman :: This is a love story of survival guys, Alexander and Tatiana have a war, starvation and the freezing Russian winter to contend with, it's pretty much the definition of epic. Sidenote, also this is a really great book if you enjoy reading historical fiction!

Emma :: I just recently finished this Jane Austen classic and I have to say I'm much more of a Mr Knightley fan than Mr Darcy (although maybe that has something to do with prefering Johnny Lee Miller to Colin Firth?)

Must Love Otters :: Holly Porter is a trainwreck albeit a hilarious one and I do approve of her trading up her dropkick boyfriend for the very sweet ex-ice hockey player Ryan. Their romance is so cute, and embarrassing if you're Holly but also cute.

The Winter Rose :: Good girls falling for bad boys probably doesn't get much better than India and Sid. This book is an emotional rollercoaster guys, you have been warned.

Outlander :: Although I'm a bit partial to Claire (I like her but at times she lacks commonsense) but there is no denying her and Jamie Fraser's relationship is one of the best things ever.

The Diviners :: While I suspect I may be wrong in wishing that Evie and Sam get together, I think they would make the best couple! Evie's so funny and Sam's cheeky and a total flirt.

Leave your TTT links down below!

Saturday, 6 February 2016

An End of Summer Beauty Wishlist

I think I'm going to make these beauty wishlists a more regular occurrence as they help satisfy my need to peruse all my favourite beauty websites without necessarily spending any money. Here are the products I'm lusting over before the Summer is over:

Stila Convertible Colour Palette :: Sometimes the beauty gods release a product that takes all the difficulty out of being unable to decide on which colour to choose. I've had the Stila Convertible Blushes in my MECCA bag for ages but have been unable to decide on which one I want to take home. Sunset Serenade is the warmer toned palette of two options and includes three shades (Petunia, Gerbera and Peach Blossom) that I was torn between choosing!

Essie Nail Polish in Maximilian Strausse-Her :: I've been very picky in adding nail polishes to my collection but I love the muted tones of this greeny grey polish. I think this will be a perfect subdued option for when the weather starts to turn a little colder and is a more sophisticated shade for wearing to work than some of my bright coral polishes.

Dior Diorskin Star Foundation :: The more I hear about this foundation the more I really think it might be something that sits well with my skin type. I love glowy skin and need a bit of coverage to mask the redness around my nose and chin which is exactly what Diorskin Star Foundation promises. Not gunna lie though, the $80 plus price tag makes my eyes water a little. One for special occasions maybe?

Chanel Chance Eau Frache :: Speaking of champagne taste and beer budgets Chanel fragrances have been something I've been lusting after for a while now. Two years ago I tried out the Chanel Coco Mademoiselle fragrance and loved it but I'm looking to replace it with something a little different. It's hard to pick between the three beautiful Chance fragrances but Eau Frache has a beautiful fresh scent to it that might just become my new favourite.

Covergirl Colorlicious Lipstick :: I have a weakness for pharmacy brand lipstick (usually from Rimmel) and it's usually where any excess parking coinage ends up going! Finding a peach coloured lipstick is actually quite hard as I found out not long ago by swatching nearly every peach hue I could find. This colour looks so pretty and I don't have anything in my makeup collection like it.

Tarte Tartelette Amazonian Clay Matte Eyeshadow Palette :: The palette with the longest name ever has been on my radar for a while now. I've slowly started to come around to the idea of matte eyeshadows and not just for wearing in the crease either. This palette is so pretty and warm toned but I think it would be just as stunning yet understated to wear a fully matte eyeshadow look. Unfortunately it's been out of stock for a while now I'm patiently waiting for it come back in store!

Let me know what beauty bits you've been lusting after lately in the comments below!

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Book Review: After You by Jojo Moyes

After You by Jojo Moyes, 384 pages. Published September 29th by Pamela Dorman Books. Rating ****

After You by Jojo Moyes is the brilliant follow up to Louisa and Will's journey and even though it didn't make me want to bawl my eyes out like its predecessor this book was still a rollercoaster of emotions.

After You picks up eighteen months after Me Before You and Louisa is struggling to deal with how to cope after caring for Will. Seemingly she has the world at her feet, at 27 living in London and having travelled parts of the world she's made progress on her tiny village life but in reality Louisa is miserable and is shutting herself off from moving on from the man she cared for.

One night after returning from her shitty job at an airport bar, Lousia falls drunkenly off her rooftop garden, an accident that make two strangers enter Louisa's life that will force her to make a choice - move on with her life or continue to wallow. But will another chance at love be thwarted by Will's past?

One of the things I loved about this novel was how much I felt Jojo Moyes has stayed true to her characters. Although Louisa has grown since being with Will she's still in a lot of ways the same person and in After You we see her struggling to be the person she promised Will she would be. There were also times in the novel when I was wishing Louisa wouldn't be so ready to put other people's happiness ahead of her own but this only shows us how much growing Louisa still had to do.

As usual the supporting characters in this novel are just as vivid and I loved Sam, the paramedic who stitches up Louisa after her fall from the rooftop and Lily, the mysterious girl from Will's past. In true Jojo Moyes style there isn't a cliched happy ending for everybody but I did think that there was no better way to finish this story. Plus, even though I'm not sure there is a third book planned in this series I would be happy to pick up again where After You leaves off and see Louisa get all the happiness she deserves.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

January Life, Style & Beauty Favourites

January's a funny month isn't it? The month we all go back to work and school and it can be slightly depressing even for those of us enjoying the Summer sun down under. Fortunately for me it's also my birthday month which always gives me something to look forward to. Here's what I've been enjoying the most this January.

My New Ikea Desk :: My desk was a present for my birthday after I complained about not having anywhere to write in our house and I just love it so much. Even though I'm yet to style it in any way just having a space to blog and write from that doesn't have to get tidied up and put away at the end of the day has made a big difference to how often I sit down to tap away at my keyboard. Stay tuned for some desk styling content as I'm really excited for all the copper and rose gold accents you know are gunna be coming at ya!

Essie Cute As A Button Mini Nailpolish :: I seriously think that all Essie nailpolishes should be available in mini form easily as who even uses up a whole bottle of varnish before they get weird and gloopy and need to be chucked in the bin? This colour is such a cute one for the summer and compliments a tan just nicely.

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask :: Oh the hydration in this mask is so good for holiday-bad-diet skin! I love the moisturising texture on the skin and that I can just slather a layer of this on and head to bed without actually looking like I have weird goo all over my face. Winning.

Morning Work Outs :: What a difference a change in schedule has made to my week! Since both my boyfriend and the sun rises at a ridiculous hour in Western Australia I've started making the most of the three hours of sunshine before I head to work at 8.30am and fit in a sneaky workout before hand. Not only do I get it done and dusted before the days begun but I'm actually working out more than ever since it feels like such a long time between workouts. Like, who even am I?

Mums, Cooking and Jamie Oliver's 30 Minute Meals :: I was a lucky girl this January and got to have my mum come over from New Zealand to stay with us for a while. Mum did most of the cooking over this time as me and the boyfriend mainly just tried to stay out of the way in the kitchen but I didn't realise that all the recipes she was whipping up were from my very dusty edition of Jamie's 30 Minute Meals. Thanks mum!

What have your favourite things been this month?

Saturday, 30 January 2016

Book Tour: The Pestilence by Faisal Ansari

The Pestilence by Faisal Ansari, 269 pages published by Troubadour. Rating: ****

"The little girl cupped her hands and whispered almost inaudibly into her father's ear. 'The Pestilence is coming. Everybody here is going to die.'"
The Pestilence by Faisal Ansari is a science fiction come thriller novel that brings with it a mix of 'end of days' story and good versus evil plot line. When a mysterious electrical phenomenon rolls above the cities of the world, night is turned to day and two brothers are gifted unbelievable powers by the storm. But each brother chooses to use his powers differently and powerful forces are on their way. The pestilence is coming.
It's not often that I read books set in the Middle East but the setting of Israel was really a standout factor in how much I enjoyed reading The Pestilence. This beautiful and ancient backdrop is also very fitting for the spiritual references throughout the story and you know what? It's actually kind of refreshing to read a book like this that isn't set in the USA.

A fast paced and enjoyable read The Pestilence will appeal to fans of action and thriller reads while bringing an element of science fiction into it's story. There's also a touch of political and religious elements thrown in due to it's Middle Eastern setting but if all sounds too much for you then I can assure you it's not.

Beautifully written and with a plot that maintains a steady pace The Pestilence is told from many viewpoints which I really enjoyed switching between and while the endning doesn't give everything away I think this won't be the last time I pick up a Faisal Ansari novel.


Thursday, 28 January 2016

Recent Reads and Reviews (& Win a Giveaway Copy)

It's been a while since I sat down and did a book review on what I've actually read lately so rather than write up individual posts I thought I would do a quick in-a-nutshell run through of what's been floating my boat lately. So far 2016 has actually been pretty awesome reading wise and I'm super stoked to be giving away two copies of one of the books I've read in January! Here goes:

Tears of the Cheetah by TM Clark :: I've mentioned before that I love reading books set in different exotic locations especially if I have actually travelled their myself. Tears of the Cheetah is an amazing fast paced action adventure novel set in South Africa and follows the story of an American artist who escapes her past in the States. Mackenzie moves to South Africa to escape the media attention that comes with being a senator's daughter, but despite her attempts to isolate herself from anyone her friendship with Cole, a local game park owner is too hard to ignore.

Neither Mackenzie nor Cole are prepared for the events to come when poachers target Cole's beloved cheetah's and endanger someone Mackenzie holds dear to her. I loved the mix of action, romance and the beautiful African backdrop to this novel and I'm so excited to be giving away two copies of this novel thanks to the lovely people at Harlequin Books Australia! (See below for entry details).

Rating: ****

Hello From the Guillespies by Monica McInernay :: In December I was feeling quite festive and decided I wanted to read a Christmas kinda story to get me even more in the mood. On that front I actually failed a tiny bit because although this book is set around Christmas it's also set in Australia (which I didn't know from it's candy-cane cover) and wasn't quite the snow and snuggle fest I was after. That being said I actually really loved this book which centred around three sisters whose lives had all kind of fallen apart rather spectacularly in the lead up to the Christmas holidays.

There's something very relateable reading about other twenty somethings still trying to figure their lives out and Monica McInernay does write funny and heartwarming family drama. A great holiday read.

Rating: ****

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell :: I love Rainbow Rowell so there was no doubt in my mind that I wouldn't love her Young Adult book Fangirl and I totally did. Firstly I just gotta say that her writing is just brilliant and every time I read a Rainbow Rowell novel I marvel at how she effortlessly makes the characters personalities unfold throughout the story.

If you don't know the premise, Fangirl centres around a girl called Cath who loves writing fan fiction and isn't surviving her first year of college very successfully. Although I wasn't a big fan of the actual fan fiction extracts in Fangirl - which are like a Harry Potter-ish boarding school wizard called Simon Snow - I still think the book benefited from having them included. Well it's safe to say that I won't be reading Carry On (as it is the story Cath was writing in Fangirl) the character progression and Rowell's wonderful writing had this book stealing my heart. I also just loved all her side characters too.

Rating: ****

Giveaway Details:
Want to win a copy of T.M Clark's Tears of the Cheetah? Simply follow me on twitter to enter and retweet the #giveaway link to enter again! Giveaway open internationally.
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Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Like To See As Movies

It's Tuesday which means it's also time for the Top Ten Tuesday post and this week it's a freebie! Since I'm a bit of a movie buff I thought I would pick ten books I would love to see made into movies.

Rachel's Holiday by Marian Keyes :: This is by far my favourite Marian Keyes book and it's so so funny as well as being heartwarming and enduring and also tackling a big issue like addiction. I think this would be the perfect chick-flick but with heart and actual substance to the story line.

Beauty and the Beast :: Cheating totally here since this is actually coming out in 2017 but I am so looking forward to seeing this! This was the movie of my 90s childhood and having mega babe Emma Watson playing Belle has me even more excited.

The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly :: This book would make a wonderful movie adaptation or like a three part BBC miniseries or something. Historical fiction on the big-screen isn't done that often and an epic book deserves a big budget.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor :: I think mainly I just want to see Kerou with blue hair and all her awesome tattoos but with CGI and special effects being pretty amazing these days, fantasy novels being adapted for the big screen is getting more common.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller :: I know that this is actually a movie but it was made decades ago and I've never been that interested in watching it (despite the fact that I do love old movies). I love sartirical comedy and am actually partical to the occasional war film - if the characters and plot are there - and would love to see an updated movie of one of my favourite books!

Night Circus by Erin Morggenstein :: Magical realism + a historical setting makes me one happy bunny. I loved this book because I thought the circus was so real and vivid in my mind and I'd love to see it adapted for screen.

Olivia Joules by Helen Fielding :: After the hype of Bridget Jones' Diary author Helen Fielding wrote a female spy novel Olivia Joules that a lot of people will probably have not heard of. Its like James Bond meets Bridget Jones and is so funny and ridiculous that I think it would be a great action comedy to script.

Longbourne by Jo Baker :: I'm a big Pride and Prejudice fan and this novel tells the point of view of the Bennett household from the view of the servants. I would love to see another adaptation of Pride and Prejudice as I wasn't a big fan of the Keira Knightly version but Longbourne also takes the story to a different place and offers something new for audiences.


Sunday, 24 January 2016

Authors to Note: Jojo Moyes

It's been a while since I've done one of these spotlight posts of my favourite authors but with my most recent read competed I definitely felt like I needed to highlight Jojo Moyes as someone you need to read. It actually makes me happy that I've only read three of her novels as there is more goodness for me to continue with this year! Here are my favourite titles by this amazing author and a few I'm planning on picking up soon.

Me Before You :: The book that started it all, Me Before You is a beautifully written heartwarming and heartbreaking novel about Louisa, adrift in her mid-twenties with no real idea of what she wants out of life. That is until she meets Will, a quadriplegic who will turn her life upside down. I don't want to say too much about the plot of this book (and it's follow up either) but oh man this had me bawling and I'm really not much of a cryer when it comes to reading. This is definitely a small book with a big heart and will make you consider what it really means to live.

The Girl You Left Behind :: One painting, two women, one hundred years apart. Yep, I'm pretty sure the ending of this book made me want to cry too. In 1914 Edouard Lefevre paints his beautiful wife Sophie before he leaves for the front lines of the war. In 2014 Liv Halston is determined to hold onto the beautiful painting her husband bought for their wedding anniversary before his death. I loved the strong female characters in this book and had so much hope for both Sophie and Liv who are both fighting for their survival.

After You :: The follow up novel to Me Before You, Louisa is struggling after caring for Will. As Louisa slowly tries to turn her life back around the possibility of a new relationship might be derailed by a visitor from Will's past. I was so so pleased when I found out there was a follow up novel to Me Before You and picking up with Louisa felt like a natural continuation from the previous novel. I had so much hope for Louisa to be happy once again and although Jojo Moyes isn't one for cliched happy endings I thought she fully delivered on this one.

On My Reading List :: The One Plus One, The Last Letter From Your Lover, The Ship of Brides and Honeymoon in Paris.

Have you read any of Jojo Moyes novels?

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday :: My Current To Be Read List

This week's Top Ten Tuesday by The Broke and the Bookish is kind of perfect for me considering I am constantly adding new books to lists on my phone so that I don't forget all of the wonderful recommendations I find weekly via Youtube and book blogs. Here are ten of my most recent additions to my reading wish list.

Lorali by Laura Dockrill :: A book about mermaids that is actually pretty highly rated? Count me in.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater :: The more I read of Young Adult paranormal magical shenanigans the more I discover I actually kinda like it. Hence the addition of this book to my reading list.

The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld :: Enchanted magic and a book narrated by an inmate on death row have certainly piqued my interest in picking up this book.

The Bone Clocks by David Mitchell :: I have no idea how to even begin describing the plot for this novel other than it is told over many decades of time and I know that it has quite a few interesting characters. More than that though David Mitchell's writing is both beautiful, quirky and laugh-out-loud funny which is three very good reasons to read.

The Rest of us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness :: I love the premise of this book. Ever wondered what it would be like to be the normal friend of someone who is super-hero level remarkable?

The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch :: Described as like Robin Hood meets Oceans Eleven this story of a conman and his band of followers has been mentioned quite a few times to me and it's time I picked  it up!

The Ice Twins by S.K Tremayne:: You guys now I need me some crime and thriller fiction and this creepy novel involves a creepy mystery of the death of a twin and mistaken identities.

The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare :: I've never read any of the Infernal Devices novel but the mix of historical and paranormal has me intrigued!

What books have made your TBR list recently?

Friday, 15 January 2016

Ten Wardrobe Updates for 2016

Cheap Monday, Asos, Asos, Windsor Smith, Status Anxiety, Surf Stitch, Spurr, Asos, The Iconic, Style Stalker
Just as I have visions of my perfect bookshelf being a collection of well loved and carefully curated books my ideal wardrobe is small but with every piece used and loved. It's been a bit of a mission of mine to refine my wardrobe year after year - it's a long process I tell ya - and I slowly think I'm getting there.

My most recent trip interstate had me packing a suitcase which turned out to be almost perfect for every occasion we went on - city, beach and outdoor trips included. There are still a few tweaks, culls and purchases to be made before I'm 100% happy. Here are ten items that I would like to add to my wardrobe in 2016.

Cropped Sweatshirt :: Being a tiny person (holla to all my petite girls out there) I wear a lot of high waisted jeans and skirts to make the most of what stunted leg length I've been blessed with. Normal sweaters just don't seem to cut the mustard and can be a bit too bulky tucked in and swamp my short frame when untucked. The cropped sweatshirt is the perfect solution!

Leather jacket :: I've been holding off on buying a leather jacket until I find one I really really like as I'd like to invest a wee bit of money in it. The perfect throw on solution to just about every casual outfit and something that is definitely needed in my wardrobe.

Heeled black boots :: One of the most worn items of my shoedrobe (that's a word right?!) has to be my black flat ankle boots but they justv don't have that extra something that takes them from work to nighttime appropriate. Finding the right ankle cut off point is key though - short girl problems again.

Little black bag :: I love being hands free when shopping/eating/going out and a cross body black bag for nighttime is pretty high on my wish list. I've spied a pretty faux ponyhair one from Status Anxiety that gives me all kind of heart palpatations and I love that it's as perfect for a night out in dresses and heels or jeans and a tee.

Smart coat :: Whether it be a trench coat (I spied a dusty pink Coach one in Melbourne that made my heart melt) or a sophisticated leopard-ish number my black totally-not-made-of-wool coat isn't the tidiest thing for wearing out out, if you know what I mean.

Studded heels :: Okay okay, these are by no means a necessary item to my wardrobe but they are so pretty!! I've been after a pair of studded flats or heels for a while now and nothing has fitted right or flattered me plus these bad boys are only a 9cm heel meaning I won't be tottering around like an idiot. Ugh, so pretty!

Casual jersey dress :: Last year I found the perfect striped dress. It was number five million that I tried on but is the perfect solution to 'don't know what to wear days.' It's perfect for everything from shopping to aeroplane journeys to movies, date nights and Sunday slob days and it made me realise that I need a backup for when it's in the wash.

Black A-line skirt :: Because A-line skirts are my jam; they're so flattering and easy to wear and yet I don't have one in black which is kind of ridiculous considering how much of a gap it would fill in my wardrobe both for work and more dressed up occasions.

Lace bralet :: Not only these bralets cute but they are also kind of functional in the way that normal bras aren't. I have a few tops that are lower cut in the arm holes and need a thiner strapped bra under the arms. The bonus is if you do end up accidentally flashing your underwear at least it's pretty to look at!

Slogan Tee :: Does anyone reall need a slogan tee? The answer to that my friends is yes, yes they do. Especially ones that reference Kendrick Lamar lyrics.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Meant To Read in 2015

While I didn't actually have any particular reading goals in 2015 there were still a bunch of books I would have liked to get to but just didn't find the time (I blame Netflix more than anything else). So for The Broke and The Bookish Top Ten Tuesday here are the books I meant to read before House of Card marathons got in the way.

Lair of Dreams by Libba Bray :: I loved the first book in this paranormal Young Adult series, which you know because I talk about it all the damn time. Book two is on my reading list in the early months of 2016.

Jackaby by William Ritter :: This book was more of a fail trying to get a copy. My library didn't stock any and being a paperback over hardback fan there were a few times I went to buy this but couldn't find any editions in my chosen format in stock.

All the Little Pieces by Jillian Hoffman :: The main reason I've been delaying this book is because the cover looks scary guys! I usually balance creepy thriller reads with something a bit lighter and have been wussing out over reading this.

A Moveable Feast by Earnest Hemingway :: Okay, this book has been on my TBR for a couple of years now. I've never read any Hemingway and I chose A Moveable Feast as it's set in Pamplona and I like books that are set in places I've been. My library doesn't own a copy of this so I may just have to buy one. (Ooooh I wonder if there is a cute Penguin paperback edition I can pick up?)

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell :: I am correcting this mistake by reading this right now! I'm only half way through but there is just something about Rainbow Rowell's writing that I love.

Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith :: I remember being very excited about the latest release in the Coromoran Strike detective novels and then....just kind of forgetting to get a copy. I have read a couple of reviews this year that have made me really want to add it back onto my reading list.

Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Mass :: I'm excited to start this much-raved about series about a kick-arse assassin!

After You by Jojo Moyes :: I have this on my bookshelf and am so looking forward to reading the follow up to Me Before You, which was one of my favourite books I've read since I started blogging. 

Thursday, 7 January 2016

New Additions to the Beauty Shelf #3

My last update of pretty new thangs on my beauty shelf was way way back in April of 2015 which means this post is long overdue. Whoops! With the festive season just gone I received some lovely beauty bits and bobs from my sisters (they know me so well) and did a little splurge in MECCA when I visited Melbourne for the first time over the new year. Here’s what I’ve been loving lately:

Origins Drink Up Intensive Overnight Mask :: A hydrating face mask that doesn’t look like you’re wearing anything on your face? Yes, please! I’ve been wanting to buy Origins products for ages and have been thoroughly impressed by my first purchase. This mask is perfect for lazy girls who can’t be bothered with the faff of waiting around to remove their skincare.

Hourglass Ambient Lighting Palette :: Oh so shiny! I will admit I’m still mildly perplexed at how this palette works best but so far I've been using Incandescent Light (furthest left) to set my makeup and it does have a very 'lit from within' effect on the skin. Is it magic? I don't know but I do know it doesn't make my skin look cakey which is often what I get from using powders to set with.

NARS Isole Eyeshadow Duo :: I am all about coppery, goldy, orangey coloured things on my eyelids. Blue eyed girls need to pick this duo up because it will make your peepers pop. The quality of NARS eyeshadow is also amazing and I had a ‘this is what I’ve been missing out on’ moment the first time I used it.

Marc Jacobs Daisy Perfumes :: Mini perfumes are great because a) tiny things are cute b) trying out multiple perfumes at once is where it’s at and c) They are so convenient for travel and handbag usage. I've never tried any of the Daisy perfumes before but these three minis are all sweet and floral without being overpowering or too 'young' if you know what I mean. I still can't pick a favourite!

Antipodes Aura Hydrating Manuka Honey Mask :: I just really like face masks okay? I replaced my clay mask from Moorish Skincare with another tip top New Zealand brand Antipodes and I love this one. My skin is oily but needs hydration and I also love the fact that I don’t have to sit there with my face feeling like its cracking in a clay mask. Manuka honey has antibacterial affects which are great for spot prone skin too.

What lovely beauty things have you been using lately?

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Top Ten Tuesday :: New Year Resolutions

I was debating whether or not to do a ‘New Year Resolutions’ Post but the Broke and The Bookish have kindly solved that dilemma for me. I think I’m pretty typical of most people who never actually stick to their resolutions made over this time period (mid year goals on the other hand seem to work pretty well for me) but this year I do actually have a lot of things I want to achieve to make this year the best.

Book a Holiday :: The boy wants to go diving at Ningaloo Reef while I’m dreaming of blossom trees in Japan. This should be an interesting mix of adventures!

Make a Writing Space :: I am much more productive when I have a dedicated space for something so this year for my birthday (it’s in January) I’ve asked for a writing space. Let the desk buying commence.

Write that book :: Erm, remember how 2015 was going to be the year I wrote that book? Yeah, it didn’t go so well. This time around I have planned and I am ready to do this!

Finish our Renovations :: Because that bedroom ain’t gonna paint itself and nobody likes peach trimmed walls, am I right?

Go on more Date Nights :: With the boy and friends! Because 2015 saw us foregoing a lot of fun weekend activities to do boring but necessary things like paint rooms and install bathrooms. Ugh. Now that I can shower indoors again it’s time to explore our lovely beachside town some more.

Ride my bike more :: I have a really cool bike and hardly ever use it. It’s time to dust off the cobwebs!

Do more cardio :: I’ve been doing pilates consistently for two years *pats self on back* yet have a real aversion to doing cardio because high intensity kills me. Bike riding totally counts!

Focus on the positives :: I have a tendency to focus on the things I don’t want to do because I am a worrier and I always think that I’ll be a disaster at everything. It’s honestly tiring and I can’t be bothered anymore so focusing on all the good fun things that happen every day is going to be my new mindset.

Do more on my blog :: Books have really taken over on the blogging front in 2015 and while that’s awesome and probably just signifies my love for reading in general I want to have more varied and interesting content.

Read all the books :: Because 2015 was an awesome year for my bookshelf and I read so much great work that was outside my comfort zone (YA and Fantasy/Paranormal which I loved!) so it’s time to up the ante!

Hit me with your New Year resolutions!
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